Everyone misses travelling, I think, including me! Some venture to take holidays far away from their own country, but for now it is a niche choice, given the restrictive anti-Covid rules. So, not being able to start new adventurous projects, my mind wanders to my past, which fortunately reserves me a lot of wonderful exotic moments! We all experience exhilarating and unexpected moments while travelling. These are the episodes that, even after some time, bring a smile to our faces. I would like to tell you about two of them in this article, which may make you smile! Coincidentally, both belong to my stay in China in 2017 :)
We had already been in this incredible country for a couple of weeks, together with my boyfriend Tizian, my travelling companion. We were visiting a naturalistic place, Zhangjiajie, typical for its high karst pinnacles among the vegetation. Macaques live in its forests, accustomed to the tourists who populate the paths. I was walking with a bag containing three tangerines that I had just bought, and at a certain point I realised that a macaque was waiting for us under the slope we were walking down. I was so excited, I didn't even have time to realise it was the first monkey I had ever seen in nature and to say "Look, there's a monkey..." when it leapt very quickly towards me, giving a slap to the bag of tangerines, which rolled to the ground! Two seconds of suspension, where we looked at each other and then the very fast macaque grabbed one of the three mandarins and ran away! Tizian and me were completely stunned and obviously burst out laughing, noticing that everyone now had their tangerines equally! Good deal.
The second episode I would like to tell you about left us speechless, not necessarily in a good way! We were now much further west, in Yunnan Province, when we decided to go on an excursion to the largest cave in China, the Swallow Cave. It is so named because it is the nesting site of thousands of swallows every year. The entrance is majestic and enormous, the karst formations inside becoming more spectacular the deeper we went. But something else became even more impressive the deeper we went into the cave: the lighting on the many stalactites and stalagmites became more and more vivid and colourful. "OK, interesting choice..." we commented, slightly perplexed. But at a certain point we were speechless! When we reached the deepest point open to the public, where a huge room opens up, the lights became psychedelic. Each limestone formation was projected in a different colour, everything was so brightly lit that the space no longer had any depth. The aim was to put on a show, creating a Las Vegas of caving! The climax of the tourist show was reached when we saw a restaurant, complete with tables, benches and even snack machines, all set up in the huge underground space formed in geological eras! Fortunately, only a fraction of the 5 km of tunnels discovered so far can be visited. The rest of the karst formations can still enjoy darkness and sobriety, for now! Who knows, perhaps unknowingly I was inspired by the Swallow Cave in the creation of my 'Glowing Paintings' collection which I inaugurated a year later! :)
Do you also have a funny moment connected to your naturalistic journey? Tell us about it in the comments!